It seems impossible to believe that a parent could forget his or her child in a vehicle. However, hot car deaths happen more often than you might believe. The parents who lost children probably never thought it could happen to them until it did.
Hot Car Deaths Reached a Record High in 2018
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 2018 was the “deadliest year on record” for children dying in hot vehicles. Since 1998, nearly 800 cases of vehicular heatstroke have been reported. As of right now, 13 children have already died in 2019 in hot cars. Over one-half of the deaths caused by hot cars are due to parents forgetting their children in vehicles.
Doing Something to Help Parents and Caregivers
The NSC developed a free online training tool for parents and caregivers. Children in Hot Cars is a training tool that provides information about pediatric vehicular heatstroke and tips for preventing hot car deaths. The interactive tool covers three main topics:
- Why do cars heat up?
- How do children die in hot cars?
- What can you do?
The tool provides research and study data to back up the facts and information. For example, did you know that heat stroke can occur when it is just 57 degrees outside? On average, the temperature in a vehicle can increase by 19 degrees in just 10 minutes. Therefore, if it is just 70 degrees outside, it can reach 89 degrees in your vehicle in just 10 minutes. Combine that with the fact that a child’s body heats three to five times faster than an adult’s body and you have a deadly combination.
Safety Tips to Prevent Hot Car Deaths
The NSC recommends several safety tips for parents and caregivers to reduce the risk of hot car deaths.
- Before you lock your vehicle, make it a habit to open the back doors. It will help you double check for children.
- Leave something you need in the back seat, such as a shoe, cell phone, employee ID card, wallet, or keys.
- Place a stuffed animal in the back seat. When you place your child in the back seat, transfer the stuffed animal to the front seat to remind you that you have a passenger.
- Arrange for the daycare or sitter to call you if your child is not dropped off at the appropriate time.
- Set alarms on your cell phone to remind you of the time when your child needs to be dropped off at school and other activities.
- Consider using special technology available that alerts parents and caregivers when a child is in the back seat.
Always check and lock your vehicle! Each time you get out of your vehicle, check to make sure that no passengers are in the vehicle and then lock your doors. You need to place your keys in a place where children cannot get the keys. Over a quarter of hot car deaths are because children gained access to vehicles. Checking and locking your vehicle each time you exit the vehicle can prevent a tragic death.
It is dangerous to leave a child in a vehicle unattended. It may also be a crime under Illinois law. For more information about kids and hot cars, you can visit the Kids & Cars website.
Contact Our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
If your child is injured, we want to help you protect your child’s legal rights. You and your child may be entitled to compensation for damages and losses if a negligent or reckless party causes your child to be injured.
Call the Costa Ivone Personal Injury Lawyers at (708) 400-0000 for a free consultation.
Costa Ivone, LLC
311 N Aberdeen St #100B, Chicago, IL 60607